New Book: The Vegan Evolution Transforming Diets and Agriculture

| December 17, 2022 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Publication Info: ISBN 9781032267623

Date of Publication: June 15

Year of Publication: 2022

Publication City: London, UK

Publisher: Routledge

Author(s): Gregory F. Tague

Pages: 196

The Vegan Evolution: Transforming Diets and Agriculture by Gregory F. Tague will make some people angry, some uncomfortable, and some happy. The book, from the Routledge Studies in Food, Society and the Environment, is a unique look at the intersection of our evolutionary food history, sustainability, and the cultural ecology of human dietary choices.

The Vegan Evolution is a book about the human diet: what it was, how it changed, and its power to renovate health and the environment for years to come. Why do we raise billions of animals every year, at great loss to environmental systems, only to slaughter and eat them? Our actions are not those of ecosystem engineers, and, worse still, our consuming lifestyles are driving many people to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Like our hominin ancestral relatives, our extant cousin great apes thrive on diets of mostly fruit, leaves, nuts, and seeds. This book makes the case that through cultural evolution more than biological adaptation the human diet can gravitate away from the health and climate ills of farmed meat and dairy products. The thrust of the writing demonstrates that because humans are a cultural species, and since we are evolving more culturally than biologically, it stands to reason for health and environmental concerns that we develop a vegan economy. The book will be of interest to students in anthropology, science, and philosophy working in multidisciplinary areas like evolutionary studies, cultural evolution, and vegan studies.

“It’s unlike anything that I’ve ever seen, and I’m the founder of an entire field based on vegan studies and veganism as a theoretical approach. It’s a smart argument, and it’s well supported.” – Anonymous peer reader.


“The Vegan Evolution makes a spirited case for abandoning the waste and risks associated with consuming animals and their products. Author Gregory F. Tague shows how insight can be gained through a new way of understanding human evolution – gene-culture coevolution. The meat-eating behavior of many members of our species isn’t the result of the evolution of our genes. It’s due to the evolution of our cultures. Tague then explains how populations might culturally evolve adaptive strategies that will make our descendants fit for the environments we will be part of.” – Lesley Newson, Ph.D., Research Associate, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, and co-author with Peter J. Richerson of A Story of Us: A New Look at Human Evolution (2021).

“The moral imperative of The Vegan Evolution supplants an assumed need to consume animals that itself rests on a vaguely evolutionary imperative that Tague wants to demolish. I admire his pluck, his interest in aggregating the range of sources he uses, and for practicing evolution without a license (so to speak). A pretty compelling look at how we think about what we eat.” – Thomas Hertweck, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts.

“What type of tomorrow do we want? asks Tague in this well-documented, carefully researched book that challenges our thinking—more importantly—our behaviors… and how we want to live on this earth.” – Isabel Rimanoczy, Ph.D., author, of The Sustainability Mindset Principles (2021) and Convener PRME Working Group on the Sustainability Mindset.

“The Vegan Evolution: Transforming Diets and Agriculture is must read. Delving deeply into the biological and cultural evolutionary history of our species, Gregory F. Tague makes a compelling case for a rapid, collective move to vegan diets. He shows that widespread adoption of such would be both healthful for us and salvation for our planetary ecosphere.” – David Steele, Ph.D., Executive Director, EarthSave Canada.

“As I read Dr. Gregory Tague’s forceful, comprehensive, reasonably argued, and futuristic new book The Vegan Evolution: Transforming Diets and Agriculture, I came to realize, once again, that a “vegan ethic” isn’t a radical idea that is only about our meal plans. It also underlies a way of living that touches numerous other areas, including cultural and biological evolution, food ecology, food justice, and economics.” – Mark Bekoff, Ph.D., professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Read the full interview with Marc Bekoff in Psychology Today.

Gregory F. Tague is a Professor in the Departments of Literature, Writing and Publishing and Interdisciplinary Studies and founder and senior developer of The Evolutionary Studies Collaborative at St. Francis College, New York, USA. He is also the founder and organizer of a number of Darwin-inspired Moral Sense Colloquia and has written numerous books, including most recently An Ape Ethic and the Question of Personhood (2020), Art and Adaptability: Consciousness and Cognitive Culture (2018), Evolution and Human Culture (2016), and Making Mind: Moral Sense and Consciousness (2014).

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